Alberto Giacometti's 'Grand nu assis' eludes the viewer. In spite of her presence, this isolated figure seems strangely transparent, positioned as she is in the emptiness of a room that is only hinted at by the occasional line. Here, as in many of Giacometti's other works, it was his wife, Annette, who posed for him. And yet the individual recedes behind a universally valid image of humankind, inhabiting a diffuse space between being and nothingness. She remains in the ambivalence between distance and closeness, between presence and dematerialisation. The framing within the picture acts as an anchor. The imaginary, the illusory in art provides the space in which we can watch the figures as they continuously disappear.